I blame reality TV for the fantasy world I find myself in. No one knows what’s real and what’s not anymore. No one seems to care. All everybody wants to see is amateurs imitate professionals and professionals try their hand at something they are an amateur in. Why??
Remember when TV shows taught you something? When family’s sat and laughed and learned together. We were entertained by skilled story tellers, intelligent game show hosts, professional actors. Sitcoms were funny. Less low brow. Cartoons were amazing, sport was free to air. The news wasn’t 24hours of biased politically correct sensationalism. In the sixties we watched man walk on the moon, in the 2000s we watched morons locked in a room.
Though I loved nineties TV with the likes of The Simpsons, Seinfeld and Sale of the century, all good things come to an end. What do you do when you run out of ideas? From my observations, You tenaciously push an ideology. What about us, the audience? What now keeps us hooked to our screens? Is it the journey of the latest want to be singer, cook, builder, or whatever else. I’m sure we can identify with all the ordinary people now on TV in the sense of coveting fame with little talent, little work and lots of lies and luck. Well not everyone lacks talent, the contestants on The Block are pretty special to make an hour of advertising appear almost real.
I don’t think it’s contestants on TV we identify with. I think it’s the judges. Yes I am the cynic, the judge who will tell you that your too fat for that dress. You might be someone who cries for the architect on MasterChef who’s dreamt of being a chef all his life but never went to chef school or did an apprenticeship gets judged harshly for his under garnished turnip. You could be devastated when your favourite singer who’s never busked in the street or hustled for a little money and lunch in the local pubs has their dreams of fame shattered for a little mistake. I still don’t think it’s the contestant who kept you watching, because you’ll watch again, next week. You come back to the show because you like being a judge. Even if it is the token pretty woman who’s paid to be on panel for all the sensitive ones.
Armchair judging is our addiction. More than talent, more than skill, more than learning, judging others gives us a kick. We can make an Ordinary person an idol, judge your hair, your cooking, your house, your voice, listen to your sob story. Wow, the world loves religion! I don’t want to listen to another or learn from another but let me choose an idol and judge another and I’ll be there every week with an open wallet. Put that together with frenzied preaching of an ideology and censorship of any who disagree and you have the entertainment industry or the religious industry. I can’t tell the difference.
Judging is addictive. Probably why eschatology is usually what sends well meaning Christians off the edge of the globe and onto the plains of flat earth Armageddon. Don’t forget your Jim Bakker food buckets.
We want to be judges, we even want to be judged, just not by anyone who disagrees with us. “only God can judge me” who on earth are you trying to fool? You put that statement on social media just so someone can approve of it. As for God, an attitude like that shows you never listen to him anyway.
God judges the judges
With the measure you use it will be measured back to you. If judging is indeed so addictive and entertaining maybe we should stop wasting our time judging television contestants who will never benefit from our judgements. Why can’t we be addicted to judging on behalf of the poor and Needy, the orphans and the widow, the ones who can’t afford representation or have the opportunity of public presentation. If we could find the thrill of granting favour to the oppressed each and everyday, we could stop living as contestants hoping in a pipe dream and instead become the judge that God is looking for to raise humanity to a higher level.
“God stands in the congregation of the mighty, He judges among the gods. How long will you judge unjustly, and show partiality to the wicked? Defend the poor and fatherless, do justice to the afflicted and Needy. Deliver the poor and Needy, free them from the hand of the wicked.” Psalm 82 verse 1 to 4.
Joshua is a sixth generation house painter. He serves under the ministry of Pastors Ronnie and Shirley Naidoo of KZN Celebration Centre in Tongaat South Africa. He enjoys teaching scripture to both children and adults and has written a book on the sermon on the mount. He enjoys playing basketball and sharing elbows with his opponents.